Kef Q100 vs. Q300 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Everyone

Trying to take advantage of whats left of the Boxing week sales, there is a pretty decent local deal for Kef bookshelves.

The Q100 (5.25") is going for $388 and the Q300 (6.5") is going for $448.

Went in to take a listen today and they only had the Q100s available, surprisingly for such a small driver they put out a nice amount of bass. I would have really liked to compare against the larger driver in the 300 but apparently this store only demo's the 100's.

The sales guy said that he personally prefers the smaller 100's and that the 300's get a bit muddy at times. (he said a lot of things...whats with these guys..seriously audio salesmen can be such clowns, but I digress)

Right now I'm actually leaning towards the Q100's and the smaller center channel, due to room aesthetics, I don't really want to have that humongoid C600 center channel, the C200 is significantly smaller. ($348 vs $448)

These are going to be run in a 90% movie/tv setup with the remainder music. Denon 1913 amp (sales buddy didn't like that, the Onkyo 616 will blow that away in every.single.category), and paired with an HSU STF2 sub.

Any advice tonight would be much appreciated!
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:59 PM
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I wish I had first hand knowledge to offer. My pick would be the Q300s based on what I've read and using IQ30 and B&W685s as benchmarks, the Q300s should be better.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Ayre K-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:15 PM
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I've heard both. The Q100's are significantly better in the midrange, and overall the nicest-sounding speakers I've heard in their size/price class.

The Q300's sound more like "conventional hi-fi speakers." The Q100's, which have a smaller midwoofer and the same mid-tweet crossover, have more even midrange coverage and thus a less colored midrange in a typical room. (In a room that's had the life sucked out of it with "acoustic treatments," the difference will be less pronounced.)

Put another way, there's a reason why there's an R100 but not an R300...

KEF really hit something good with that driver. (The 8" one is pretty good, too. It has a stouter tweeter that lets it maintain good pattern control in the midrange. The 6.5" one is the odd man out. One gets the feeling it's more of a hole-plugger in the lineup than anything else.)

As for the center, see if you can get a third Q100. The KEF center channels as a rule are poor matches for their mains speakers. For movies it might not matter much, but on multichannel music recordings the discontinuity will be more obvious.

Then again, given that the difference between a properly matching 3-speaker front setup with a spare speaker and 2 speakers with a "matching" center is only difference is only $50, then just buy a second pair of Q100's if the dealer won't sell you a single.

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Old 12-29-2012, 11:13 PM
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+1 I'm currently running 3 Q100's LCR and I love the sound - the combination of the Uni-Q driver and three identical speakers creates a very wide, very even and very detailed front soundstage. I'm continuing to audition other speakers in that price range and haven't yet found anything that beats them. I just recently got an SVS SB12-NSD sub and the pairing has me staying up later than I should watching movies or listening to music ; )

Between the two, the only reason I would consider the Q300's is if you have a particularly large room/space. Even then I'm not sure, the Q100's play quite loud.

Plus, you can always sell the extra speaker if you want.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

Put another way, there's a reason why there's an R100 but not an R300...

I haven't heard any of these speakers, but just wanted to point out that KEF does make an R300.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsaville View Post

I haven't heard any of these speakers, but just wanted to point out that KEF does make an R300.

Technically / literally yes of course.

Contextually he was discussing drivers - i.e that the 5" Uni-Q drivers are more accurate than the 6.25" Uni-Q drivers.
I believe his inferred point was there is no R series "counter part" to the Q300 (i.e. a speaker with a single larger driver).

Q100 has single 5" Uni-Q.
Q300 has single 6" Uni-Q.

R100 has single 5" Uni-Q.
R300 has a 5" Uni-Q and a 6.5" mid/woofer

And, that all the R series speakers use the more accurate 5" Uni-Q, while the Q series use three different sized Uni-Q's (the Q100 being the only Q series speaker that uses the 5" driver.)
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. Ended up going with the Q100's with the C200 center. They also had a sweet deal on the Ci160cr ceiling speakers, I was going to go with some cheaper ceiling speakers for surrounds but for half price I couldn't resist. All five speakers came in just a shade over $900, so I'm ecstatic to have my system done for less than 2k.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:18 PM
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Congrats! Have fun ; )
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:35 PM
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Sorry... wrong thread. Couldn't figure out how to delete.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:18 PM
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I was thinking about going with the KEF Q300 for front LR, and using the KEF Q200C for the center. Figured the Q300 would sound better than the Q100, and the difference in price is only $70 at accessories4less. Might be rethinking my options now, and going Q100 and Q200c for LCR.

I still have a month until I make my final decision, but right now it's between KEF, Arx, and Ascend Acoustics.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:32 PM
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i'm surprised to hear that the Q100 might sound better than the Q300. I've been trying to figure out a way to make the Q300 fit. Also when talking about the Q100 be better than the Q200c(for center) you say"For movies it might not matter much, but on multichannel music recordings the discontinuity will be more obvious". What are multichannel music recordings? If im viewing 60% and 40% for music(streaming and cd's) will i notice a big difference between the Q100 and Q200c? Thanks
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:39 PM
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I talked to the folks at accessories for less and they say they sell 10 300's for every 100... Price is so close that is just seems to be a better buy.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gelly View Post

i'm surprised to hear that the Q100 might sound better than the Q300. I've been trying to figure out a way to make the Q300 fit ...

Not sure about "better" ... I auditioned both in home and think the Q100 was slightly more "accurate" than the Q300 out of the box. Out of the box the Q300 has what some call the mid-range-mushroom that lots of (most?) consumer speakers have (it can contribute to a warmer sound). But the difference is negligible - if you run any sort of room-correction/eq software (like Audyssey) the difference disappears. At that point the Q300, because of it's larger mid-driver, will play just a bit lower and just a bit louder. On the other hand, if space/speaker-size is an issue and you don't plan on pushing the limits volume wise, the Q100 will be just as good as the Q300. Both are excellent speakers. (I wouldn't be surprised if more Q300's are sold because A) consumers tend to think bigger is better, and B) the Q300 has gotten a lot more press/reviews.)
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Originally Posted by gelly View Post

... Also when talking about the Q100 be better than the Q200c(for center) you say"For movies it might not matter much, but on multichannel music recordings the discontinuity will be more obvious". What are multichannel music recordings? If im viewing 60% and 40% for music(streaming and cd's) will i notice a big difference between the Q100 and Q200c? Thanks

Personally I think three identical speakers LCR is better for movies too - all my dialog and phase issues disappeared when I went with an identical center speaker. If you post in the KEF owners thread you might find someone with a single Q100 (or Q300 if you go that route) to sell.

Mind you this probably won't apply to most streaming or cd music because it's typically 2 channel (LR) stereo.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:05 PM
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Does anyone know how the KEF Q300 and Q600c compares to the Andrew Jones BS22-LR bookshelves and center? I have a MK5 sub and am looking to upgrade the speakers but not sure what type of sound characteristics I would expect (more laid back? Details on the midrange?). I have no dealers in 300 mile radius, so hard to listen to them, but I know I can't go wrong with KEF. I have heard the more expensive LS50 already and they sounded great I know, but of course I didn't have them in my home and they are a little different. Was looking at the R-series too.
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Old 11-19-2015, 08:57 AM
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All the new KEF Q series and R series are very good, so good that some of the speakers do compare to the LS50 which I love, I had a pair for about a year and tried the Q300 to compare them, very close and since I don't listen as much in my office where these speakers where going I decided on the Q300 for now, does about 80% of what the LS50 does.... I should point out, that if your doing a main listening room for HT and especially music I would stick with the LS50 as it's one of the better monitors that I have heard in years! "Well at least to my ears"!

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Old 11-25-2015, 01:34 PM
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On my current quest to find the right speaker, I was able to compare the Q100 & Q300 side by side at the same time. The Q300 was MUCH better. I could not tell a difference in the highs, but the med-range and lows were much more pronounced and felt fuller than the Q100. The music was warmer too. The Q100's were nice, don't get me wrong, but it was clearly lacking compared to the Q300. I guess the best way to describe it is that the Q100 sounded thin compared to the larger Q300. I was driving the speakers with an Onkyo 8020 (50 w/ch), Onkyo 8050 (80 w/ch), Yamaha R-S300 (50 w/ch) and finally a Yamaha A-S701 Integrated Amplifier (100 w/ch). I was also not using any sub-woofer. The source was a Oppo BDP-10.3 Universal Disc Player. I was listening to digital remasters of Dire Straits, Santana, Pink Floyd and some Special EFX. The Q300 won out every time. I have no idea why people are saying the Q100 sounds better than the Q300 because it clearly was not true, at least from what I heard anyways.

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Old 11-25-2015, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacodutaco View Post
On my current quest to find the right speaker, I was able to compare the Q100 & Q300 side by side at the same time. The Q300 was MUCH better. I could not tell a difference in the highs, but the med-range and lows were much more pronounced and felt fuller than the Q100. The music was warmer too. The Q100's were nice, don't get me wrong, but it was clearly lacking compared to the Q300. I guess the best way to describe it is that the Q100 sounded thin compared to the larger Q300. I was driving the speakers with an Onkyo 8020 (50 w/ch), Onkyo 8050 (80 w/ch), Yamaha R-S300 (50 w/ch) and finally a Yamaha A-S701 Integrated Amplifier (100 w/ch). I was also not using any sub-woofer. The source was a Oppo BDP-10.3 Universal Disc Player. I was listening to digital remasters of Dire Straits, Santana, Pink Floyd and some Special EFX. The Q300 won out every time. I have no idea why people are saying the Q100 sounds better than the Q300 because it clearly was not true, at least from what I heard anyways.
I had the Q100 and Q300 along with the LS50 and I would rank them in that order... I thought the exact same thing, the Q100 where a tad thin in the bass department the Q300 and LS50 where very close, with more detail in the highs going to LS50.... The reason the Q300 work better for my situation is they are front ported which works great as I have them on a bookshelf with a pair of bookshelf stands. I am using a Musical Fidelity Int. Amp and a Teac/Esoteric AI-2000 Int. Amp....

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Old 11-25-2015, 07:01 PM
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Well of course the Q300 is going to win out in the bass department. But many people who use these speakers use them with subwoofer(s).

Try comparing the Q100 and Q300 level-matched (because the Q300 is slightly higher sensitivity, that also gives it an unfair advantage in A-B testing). Then, ALSO, set a crossover to high-pass them both at 80Hz. Now the bass advantage of the Q300 is largely negated, as is the level difference, and you might find that the Q100 has slightly better integration of the midrange-to-treble region.

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Old 11-25-2015, 09:18 PM
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Well of course the Q300 is going to win out in the bass department. But many people who use these speakers use them with subwoofer(s).

Try comparing the Q100 and Q300 level-matched (because the Q300 is slightly higher sensitivity, that also gives it an unfair advantage in A-B testing). Then, ALSO, set a crossover to high-pass them both at 80Hz. Now the bass advantage of the Q300 is largely negated, as is the level difference, and you might find that the Q100 has slightly better integration of the midrange-to-treble region.
beaveav: I understand your rationale but we are talking 86db verses 87db, still thought the Q300 sounded better to my ears and had a more full body sound to my ears . You can compensate for the slight difference in efficiency, if A-B Testing. Regardless both good speakers.

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